Jim Self, one of the owner’s of a Dalrymple Road estate, speaks at an Oct. 29 meeting about a redevelopment plan held at Lost Corner Preserve. (Evelyn Andrews)

Residents pushed back against a plan to develop 18 new houses along Dalrymple Road at an Oct. 29 meeting, saying the proposed extension of Thornhill Lane could be disruptive and the new houses could have water runoff and traffic consequences.

“We don’t have any choice but to fight that with everything we know how to,” one Thornhill Lane resident said of the proposed extension.

The owner of a large estate is seeking a rezoning to build single-family houses on 18 lots along Dalrymple Road in an area that is currently heavily wooded. The estate was left by James W. Self to his family to sell and use to fund a trust for his grandchildren, Jim Self, his son, said in a presentation at the meeting.

The family is committed to doing “whatever is best for the overall neighborhood,” Self said. Some residents said they were appreciative of the “thought and effort” that went into creating in the plan and are willing to work with Self to come up with solutions that will work for both sides.

The preliminary community meeting on the rezoning began with frustration about inability to see and hear the presentation as over 100 residents were packed into Lost Corner Preserve, with some having to listen through open windows or sit on the floor.

The proposal seeks to rezone the properties, which include 0, 309, 314 and 354 Dalrymple Road, from RE-1 to RD-18, lowering the minimum lot size from one acre to 18,000 square feet, less than half an acre, according to proposal documents. All lots fronting Dalrymple would be at least one acre, however, to be similar to other lots on the road, according to the rezoning document.

The houses would have at least a 50-foot setback, the site plan said.

Three houses are currently located on the lots, owned by Self, his brother Peter Self and his father’s former house. Those will likely be torn down, Pete Self said.

The development could extend Thornhill Lane, which currently dead-ends at the start of the wooded area, and create a cul-de-sac on the south side of Dalrymple, an idea that got heavy criticism from residents at the meeting.

“To come in here and throw eight homes at the end of that street is unacceptable,” one resident said.

“I have not met one person who thinks building a new road and putting homes around it will improve quality of life,” another said.

The road would need to be extended from Thornhill rather than start at Dalrymple because there would be sight lines issues, Self said.

One resident proposed creating a new road that begins farther east on Dalrymple and snakes through the property as a potential solution, which Self said would be investigated and considered.

A common driveway, or two, for the six houses on the north side of Dalrymple are proposed to avoid multiple curb cuts along Dalrymple, Self said.

A common open green area less than one acre is also proposed around a small cemetery, where John Dalrymple is buried, Peter Self said. The Self family owns the cemetery and wants to preserve it, he said.

Other residents, including the house that would back up to a new stormwater retention pond, feared the new development could exacerbate existing runoff problems.

Self said they would be required by the city to prevent any additional runoff water from leaving the property and would create a plan to maintain the retention pond.

Others feared that traffic would get worse along Dalrymple and in the neighborhood as a result of the development. A member of the city’s zoning staff said houses are typically expected to generate 10 car trips per day.

Self said the property has to be developed and “can’t stay the same,” but will consider different plans based on the feedback.

Gabe Sterling, a former City Council member, said Self may need to consider smaller plan.

“To get the support of the community, you’re probably going to have to pull it back some,” Sterling said.

The owner still needs to hold a second community meeting and have the plan reviewed by the Planning Commission before heading to City Council for approval.

To view proposal details and for a link to submit comments, click here.

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